Hey FStop family -
We've come a long way! June of last year we were at ~100 users and a half-baked web application. Fast forward 9 months and we're now at 40,000 users across Web and iOS worldwide with collaborations happening regularly. FStop is bringing people together around art, which makes us really happy.
In Summary - we need to ask for some help in order to continue growing. There are a few ways you can help:
- Money: You can donate your cash on a monthly basis. This will help us cover the costs of running FStop.
- Time: You can offer your services to Patrons. Patrons at certain tiers will receive FStop Cards, which can be exchanged for things like photoshoots, workshops, critiques, printed photos, and more. If you'd like to do this, you can update your profile in the web app to describe what you're offering to cardholders. We'll then add you to the contributors page on FStop.
- Internships: If you're interested in contributing to FStop on an ongoing basis, check out our internships page.
FStop has been a labor of love for us but in order to continue nurturing this growth, we need to ask for some help. Especially as these costs continue to climb.
Paying the bills
We want to hold off on charging monthly subscriptions for as long as possible. Instead, we'd like to see if crowdfunding can help us bridge the gap between where we're at and the "tipping point" at which monetization (and becoming self-sustaining) makes sense.
We need to offer a compelling value exchange. Currently, patrons can donate their money in exchange for one (or several) of the following:
- Professional services in exchange for FStop Gold/Silver Cards
- Visibility on our IG
- An interview on our Blog
- FStop Plus
Patreon facilitates recurring contributions - something we can ask for in lieu of a monthly subscription.
If we're able to fund our current recurring costs through Patreon, we'll be able to push other areas forward with a bit more oomph. Short-term, these include:
- An Android app
- Support for events on the FStop Feed
- Building the FStop Feed on iOS
- Bugfixes and feature enhancements across all platforms
Ongoing efforts will benefit from this as well:
- B2B Outreach - Agency and Business involvement
- B2C Outreach - Consumer involvement
- A more mature marketing campaign
- More focused team and community building efforts
Long-term, FStop's mission is to become the world's creative catalyst - enabling people from all over the world to get together and create awesome things. Super long-term, this might even include studio space with gear, workshops, high-quality video tutorials, events, agency partnerships and more.
You can exchange an FStop Card for things like:
- Five photos retouched by a photographer or retoucher
- An hour of shooting time with a professional model
- A portfolio critique from a professional photographer
- An hour-long shoot with a professional photographer
You can see a list of our current volunteers on the FStop Contributors page. If you'd like to become a contributor, let us know in-app!
This is all a bit experimental but seems like the next logical step in pushing FStop forward. Monetization and investment aren't options as we don't have enough value yet - but here's to hoping we'll get there.
Thanks to everyone for sticking around as we try to figure out how to shift and shape into something that works. The support we've received in these early stages has been incredible; it's what keeps us going!
Mick and the FStop Team